pull out key quotations (preferably short ones) and ‘unpack’ them
3. Think about alternative readings/ interpretations. How might other readers interpret the quotations or ideas you have unpacked? You can select some short quotations from critics if you wish, but you do not have to do this. You can talk about the general alternative readers. Make notes.
4. Find similarities and differences between your texts and list them. These comparisons might be to do with the theme and ideas or the ways the writers present those ideas e.g. form, structure and language
5. Plan your essay:
Remember that the key words in the question must drive your essay. If your focus is the ‘darker side of love’, then you are presenting an argument about how the different writers present this theme. So… the darker side of love drives all your comments.
For 3000 words you will need to write 11 – 12 well developed paragraphs and that means 3 – 4 well developed paragraphs on each text… Give each paragraph a topic heading. Add a few well-chosen quotations. Write a few brief comments.
6. Write your first draft:
Here you want an overview of your argument, so try to begin with a fundamental comparison between all three texts.
The body of your essay. Be prepared to stay with your first text to develop your ideas in sufficient detail. All your comments and ideas must grow from a close analysis of the text and unpacking of quotations. Don’t forget to consider alternative interpretations and build to a point of comparison at the end of the paragraph to lead into your second text and third paragraph
The conclusion should grow from the arguments presented in your essay. Try to avoid simplistically restating what you have said before. Look back to the fundamental point of comparison stated at the beginning of your essay. Has your argument changed in the light of your close analysis? Has it been reinforced? Do you have something new to say? Is there a quotation that sums up your view?
Love Through the Ages
During the A2 ‘love through the ages’ course, we will look at the themes of the pursuit of love, unrequited love, the celebration of love, forbidden love, family, friendship, loss and betrayal as they are played out in literature in different historical times. It is vital that as we endeavour to research and analyse as a class, the emphasis and impetus of the learning must shift from the teacher to the student. Secondary reading takes on a new importance at A2, as does the need to look more closely at historical factors on literature and literary criticism. Perhaps the most challenging but most vital part of the A2 is understanding chronology and how individual movements in literature are created, come to prominence and wane in accordance to historical and literary needs.